AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - E-mail scams are circulating through Amarillo where money is urgently requested.
An Amarillo man was targeted and became a victim of this scam where crooks hack into your email and message people in your address book asking for money.
David Kemp woke up this morning to phone calls and messages asking if he was okay because of an e-mail he supposedly had sent out.
“So, I start getting calls, texts, e-mail messages from friends. So, evidently it has gotten into my contact list. And had sent an e-mail to everyone in my contact list, I mean business, personal, you name it,” said Scam Victim David Kemp.
The hackers started with a short e-mail saying “Hi, I need to ask a favor, can you write me back,” and if you respond to that e-mail, you get another elaborate e-mail.
“The e-mail says, I need to get an Amazon gift card for my niece, it’s her birthday, but I can’t do this now because I was involved in a car crash a few days ago, I have fractured my lumbar L1 and fractured my wrist. I’ll pay you back as soon as I’m back. Kindly let me know if you can handle this, David,” said Kemp.
On his contact list, is the CEO of Amarillo’s Better Business Bureau, who immediately recognized the scam and contacted him.
“We have a lot of these types of scams where people are saying that their e-mail has been hacked," said Amarillo Better Business Bureau Janna Kiehl. "What happens is the scammer sends out an e-mail, to test the waters and sees if anyone will respond. And then they are going to send a second e-mail, that will ask for money or help and it makes it sound like it’s from the victim of the scam.”
The Better Business Bureau says if you feel that any e-mail is suspicious you should not send any money online without speaking to your friend or the person that is asking for the money, whether it’s on the phone, text or through a close family member. They also want to make sure people in the Panhandle are being cautious.
“Once the hackers are in an area, they are not going to hesitate to perpetrate this scam throughout the area, especially if people respond,” said Kiehl.
Kiehl says if your e-mail does get hacked, they can get you in touch with services that can give you protection for your computer, your e-mails and teach consumers how to spot this.